The problem of the north-west frontier of India: 1800-1880.

Peters, Gordon Ross (1968) The problem of the north-west frontier of India: 1800-1880. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Early in the nineteenth century British India was compelled to give attention to her North-West Frontier. Fear of invasion, prompted first by Napoleon, forced the British to search for a defensible frontier in advance of the existing position. -- At first the defensive policy was to establish the neighbouring states, particularly Persia and Afghanistan, as buffers. But by the late 1830's, Russian intrigue in these countries convinced the British that actual control of Afghanistan was vital to Indian security. Thus the First Afghan War ensued. -- Following the war, Sind and the Punjab were annexed as partial realization of the desire for a defensible frontier, bringing the British into contact with the mountains of the North-West and the mountain tribes. The reaction to the war, combined with the administrative problems of the new provinces, caused some, particularly John Lawrence, to regard the Indus as the best defensible frontier. Others saw a better defensive line at the foot of the mountains, or beyond, on the Kabul-Kandahar line, with Herat as an advance post. -- With the advance to the mountains, the Pathan and Baluch tribesmen came into the context of Imperial policy, since they had to be pacified to ensure unobstructed British access to the mountain passes. Even if British defense were to rest on the Indus, the tribes had to be brought to friendly terms, in the hope that they would not join an invader. -- With the consolidation of the new provinces, and renewed Russian activity in Central Asia after 1860, the tendence was once again to seek security for India by an advance into Afghanistan. Thus the policy of the 1870's was similar to that of the 1830's; the Second Afghan War was the result of the search for a defensible frontier, as the first had been. -- Thus the theme of the thesis is the search for a defensible frontier for India, 1800-1880.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 11239
Additional Information: Bibliography : leaves [253]-279.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: 1968
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Afghan Wars.

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